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Administrator 2009 SLK 55 AMG/Founding Member 2006
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98,142 Posts
Discussion Starter #1



Nothing makes an already-dangerous race track even more hazardous than an unexpected slick spot. A recent video shows a BMW E30 3 Series appear to spill fluids at one of the most dangerous corners on the Nurburgring Nordschleife, causing a Porsche Cayman GT4 to fly out of control and smash directly into the disabled Bimmer.

In a video that was uploaded to YouTube by "Automobilchannel Nordschleife Videos in HD," you can see steam pouring from all around the classic BMW sedan as it heads around the Nordschleife, likely the result of a coolant leak. The E30 spins as it comes around Brünnchen, commonly known as "YouTube Corner," but comes to a halt after a light tap against the trackside Armco.

The Porsche Cayman GT4 following it wasn't so lucky.

As the Cayman comes around YouTube Corner at a good clip, the car loses grip—quite possibly as a result of hitting a patch of fluid leaked by the dying 3 Series—and understeers off-course. When the Cayman hits the trackside grass and begins to rotate, the rear-end slaps the metal barrier hard enough to rip the rear bumper off...before T-boning the stopped E30. Ouch.

An Alfa Romeo hatchback and what looks to be a Peugeot 205 were also forced off-course by the liquid spill. Seeing as how neither of those incidents involved a $90,000 sports car or a spectacular crash, though, we don't consider those minor incidents worthy of anything beyond this quick paragraph.

Wrecks like this happen every week during Nurburgring Touristenfahrten driving sessions. Lapping the 12.9-mile track known as the Green Hell can be dangerous, but the car enthusiasts who drive it do so fully knowing that. In fact, that's sort of the fun of it. No one would drive the Nurburgring Nordschleife if they didn't want to get their blood flowing.
 

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Registered 2016 SLC43
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309 Posts
As I've said , I've been attending the public sessions for years but one thing that is obvious to me is that the standard of driving has dropped considerably and the level of aggression has raised beyond belief .
I didn't even bother trying to go on the track this year , I just stood and watched , or at least I did the odd times the track was open as it was closed most of the time , first session on Sunday lasted 40 mins before being closed for the next 90 mins because of recovery of cars .
The place is more popular than ever and due to the availability of very quick cars on finance deals everyone thinks they are the best driver on the track . Throw the enthusiasts who build their own cars , sometimes not that well due to lack of funds or knowledge and it's just dangerous . There's plenty of new cars capable of reaching 150mph on certain parts of the track mixing it with cars that can barely crack 110 mph on the autobahn with a 5 min run up .
I've only ever driven the place at 8 tenths of my ability mindful that there may be a problem around the corner , most I've seen drive at 11 tenths , not having read the rules before buying a ticket . I've been passed on the wrong side , had cars and bikes drive straight across in front of me and cars nearly run in the side of me at Adenau .
The place is nuts but great fun if you get it right , if anyone does plan a visit drive it like you'll drive a unknown road . Don't try to drive on the racing line on a tourist day , there isn't one as it's a public toll road , and remember that if you knock a biker down or run one over around a blind corner you probably will be pursued by your insurer for all costs paid out :surprise: This is what makes me back off .
And read the rules on the sign beside the ticket office before you buy a ticket , it may put you off .
 

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Registered 2004 SLK200K (R171)
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15 Posts
I would certainly agree with that...
I first went in 2001 - an Easter club trip shortly after buying an MR2. We Brits were quite in the minority back then.
I think you can trace the explosion in popularity to of course - Top Gear coverage, shortly after which they installed right hand drive ticket barriers.
Not that I'm saying that all the bad drivers are British - The publicity brought more drivers from all corners of Europe.
Even the ~4x increase in lap fees since then, or specific exclusions in insurance policies haven't deterred the visitors.

It got to the point where the only clear (No broken cars / yellows / 45min queues etc) laps one could do were first thing in the morning before breakfast!
My trips are now quite a rarity, and with the stoppages, I would only manage a handful of laps over a weekend.

I would love to know if there are any SLK group trips planned for next year.
 

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Premium Member 2005 SLK55 AMG
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11,406 Posts
I would love to know if there are any SLK group trips planned for next year.
One of our members ( @Phil1987uk ) went this year, over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Although he started a thread about it (here), there weren't any post-trip updates posted on the forum (I think he's been quite busy recently).

From some updates he shared via a Facebook group I'm on with him, I'd say that he had a great time... perhaps he'll consider a return trip next year? :D
 
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Registered 2016 SLC43
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309 Posts
One of our members ( @Phil1987uk ) went this year, over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Although he started a thread about it (here), there weren't any post-trip updates posted on the forum (I think he's been quite busy recently).

From some updates he shared via a Facebook group I'm on with him, I'd say that he had a great time... perhaps he'll consider a return trip next year? :D
I'll definitely be going next year , it's my annual man jolly , but I'll be going for a Tuesday , Wednesday Thursday evening spell , only 2 hours max per day available between 5 until 7pm , bizarrely because of the accident rate on a weekend you get more laps on an evening . It's also a much better atmosphere .
I only went weekend this year to watch the 4 hour classic race on the nordschliffe , but it was cancelled and replaced with some gazillionares track day . That said to watch 3 X million pound plus gull wing mercs being drifted around the corners almost made up for it ! Who said Germans don't have a sense of humour :smile:
 

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Registered 2005 SLK55 AMG
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883 Posts
Just catching up after my Hiatus :D
The Nurburgring is incredible. I'll do a report soon. I did 4 laps and will be going again this year.
The track has hardly any run off and most corners are at the top of crests, so you don't know where you're going until last minute.
I did enjoy it but the SLK55 really isn't made for the track. Which I knew anyway but confirmed afterwards.
I cooked the brakes which was my fault for not warming them up. But also a lot of creaking from the roof due to hammering it around the track.
It got a lot of looks though from the sound of the X Pipe. I'm fully decatting it soon. Fully unleash the V8 :D
 

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Premium Member-sold my '55
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1,384 Posts
Are you aware of the German rules concerning noise coming from your car? It may be costly to drive around with an open pipe.

I'm far from capable on the the track but I felt my 55 could do a lot more than I can or dared.
 

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Registered 2005 SLK55 AMG
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883 Posts
Yes I am. They didn't enforce it though. Most cars in our group were decatted. Including an F430 and that's loud :D
It's not bad but it's no way a track car.
 
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Registered 2017 SL400
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As I've said , I've been attending the public sessions for years but one thing that is obvious to me is that the standard of driving has dropped considerably and the level of aggression has raised beyond belief . ...........


It has always been one of those things I want to do but now that I am back in the UK, I've been looking more closely at having a drive and have come to the conclusion that it is too risky. Looking at all the YouTube stuff available there seem to be a lot of numpties on the track.


I noticed that a lot of crashes seem to happen because two people are racing one another - I think the testosterone kicks in and as soon as someone tries to pass (with similar powered car), it becomes a race and common sense seems to go out the window.


Unfortunately, it has to come off my to-do list!
 

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Registered 2016 SLC43
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309 Posts
It has always been one of those things I want to do but now that I am back in the UK, I've been looking more closely at having a drive and have come to the conclusion that it is too risky. Looking at all the YouTube stuff available there seem to be a lot of numpties on the track.


I noticed that a lot of crashes seem to happen because two people are racing one another - I think the testosterone kicks in and as soon as someone tries to pass (with similar powered car), it becomes a race and common sense seems to go out the window.


Unfortunately, it has to come off my to-do list!
It's fine on a weekday evening , you only get 2 hour slots so not many people will make the trip , but as I mentioned before , you invariably get more laps as there's less cars and drivers are more sensible and experienced.
A lot of people do end up racing each other , if it happens it's easiest to back off and pull to one side for a few seconds , it lets them get away .
 

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Registered 2005 SLK55 AMG
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883 Posts
I don't think many people are covered who go on the track. I wasn't. A lot of insurance certificates say you aren't covered on the Nurburgring Just a risk I'm willing to take :D If you did crash, it costs a lot. Tow truck recovery and then pay for every meter of damaged armco. Then your car is stuck and damaged. So it can be expensive for some. It's strange how it's a toll road, if someone crashes and dies, the close it, scoop them up and reopen. Hardly see the police.

If someone is close to you, you just indicate, pull in and let them by. Unless you fancy a go. I did a bit of both.
I was happy to do it but also happy once I'd done my laps. Myself and My car in one piece :)
Looking forward to it again this year though, going for longer. We saw Guy Martin too. Pistenklause Steakhouse is a must, it's run by Sabine Schmitz's family.
 

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Registered 2016 SLC43
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309 Posts
I read somewhere that technically you are covered 3rd party , when the insurance company takes your money they are legally bound to cover you 3rd party anywhere in the eu , for the moment !
They reserve the right to pursue you through the courts to claim back any costs they incur off you personally , it's worth keeping it in mind when you get tempted to race someone , knock a biker down and you may end up homeless !
We spoke to a couple of guys a few years ago who had clipped the Armco whilst spinning an Impreza , the car was still perfectly drivable after they pulled the wing back out and they were driving it home to England , they ended up paying 1200 euros for track recovery and Armco repairs :surprise: and you have to pay up front before the car is released from the yard , a mate of ours got a flat tyre on his motorbike and that ended up costing 180 euros a few years ago for recovery and release !
 

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Registered 2017 SL400
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1,206 Posts
Not being experienced with high speed driving and not having massive cojones, I am going to deprive myself of this adventure:crying: especially as it is a brand new car and I'm not a millionaire. I did look at renting but the deposit is something like half the price of the car and massive excesses.
 

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Premium Member-sold my '55
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You CAN book a taxi ride. Lot's of offers on people who will take you along for some $$. Not exactly the same but it may change your opinion on driving there yourself. You could een get a volunteer as your babysit in return for some tickets for them.

I had a pro beside me (I drove) to warn me about slick pieces and unexpected corners. Still no guarantees etc. but now I had only to watch out for loonies. That's no different than regular traffic these days. Just the speeds are a little higher. But you're not doing 150+ mph the whole track. There are only so much places where you can floor it, and if you don't want to floor it that's OK too.
 

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Registered 2005 SLK55 AMG
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883 Posts
Yea some nice corners to floor it out of and some sweeping ones. On the last straight hit the limiter there. Take most people there :D
We got a ring taxi and it was absolutely incredible. A BMW M5. The driver we got is a friend of a friend, he had done thousands of laps, it was mental, he was so calm but pushing the car so much. What a job! Got Go Pro footage on my laptop. Will try upload at some point. That's definitely worth doing.
 
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